tv [untitled] March 10, 2012 5:00am-5:30am PST
a muni fast pass might affect your family budget, but for many of our families, this means food on the table. i wanted to add one more thing in. we see san francisco as a wonderful place to raise children. we think it is a wonderful place to have their children attend school. we fully believe that the school district of san francisco is the classroom for our children. i want to talk about field trips i notices a side issue. but we have seen a decrease in the amount of schoolchildren schools simply cannot afford it. this would allow them the opportunity. the board of education last year unanimously supported a resolution to provide free muni for all youth. >> good afternoon. i work with urban habitat, which
is one of the organizations in support of free money for youth. as an organization, we work for environmental, social, and economic justice. i think you have heard the content, but in so many words, when we are talking about needs for all youth, we are talking about a fundamental civil rights issue. it is about equal access for everyone. that is, i understand, what a civil right is. when you think about the history of the civil rights organization, this is another step in the evolution of that. when we say all, i want to hit one other point. these are really hard times. san francisco is a really expensive city. we are concerned that nobody falls through the cracks. this includes students who may be from undocumented families,
or whose families may have trouble coming up with paperwork. it also may affect students who might look moderate income, but it is a really hard time when somebody loses a job or has a health emergency. all kinds of families can be affected by this. when we say for all, we do not want to see anybody fall through the cracks. i want also to echo the words of our very youngest speaker, who, when you think about it, had more future at stake than anyone else, reminding us that this is about the planet. this is about the responsibility to do our transportation differently as a society. the point many people made about building a new generation -- i am so struck by what the young man said, thinking ahead the way he did. thank you. chairperson nolan: next speaker? >> george koyama, laura zapato,
>> i am here to support this campaign. i am here to support the youth, because i understand the experience the korean people are facing right now, young people attending different schools and public schools. a lot of low-income youth who are living in a time of economic crisis need this. >> [speaking spanish]
>> i disagree that you should have to pay to ride. sometimes it is very difficult for them to come up with the 75 cents. it seems really unfair to those who do not have the experience or the opportunity to work, and who depend on adults, guardians supervising them, to come up with this money, when they do not have it. >> [speaking spanish] >> and i have also seen that they need to figure out ways to come up with the money, whether
from a parent or guardian. i have seen them literally pushed off of buses. >> [speaking spanish] >> it is very difficult for me to see this as a latino. i consider them the future. so it is difficult for me to see this happening, and i want to support them. thank you, and we hope you can be on our side.
>> laura zapato, estella rosares -- chairperson nolan: how many speakers? >> 20 more. >> good afternoon, director, commissioners. i and the community organizer for the jamestown community center. some of you have met with some of our kids. they wanted to be here, but unfortunately, because the time was not changed -- one of my students this year, but the majority could not be here to talk to you today. we were lucky because it was early release today in the school district, so we have some elementary and middle schoolers who were able to join us. that was happenstance. but it would have been great if you could of passed this to
4:00. we need this to happen. we have been working with you guys for about 18 months, trying to make this happen. we really need to have this happen. we are wasting money and time. our families and our kids need this. it was all some of you guys to put the $1.8 million last year for free passes over the summer. we are at a position where we are figuring out what to do about that. we're getting toward the end of the school year, and this program has not started. we need this to be for everyone, for all kids. the idea is that it will create an incentive to push kids who would normally drive or be in cars on to munich. it gives them a reason to use muni instead of buying cars, or kids who normally would get cars when they turn 16 -- there would be more incentive for them to ride the bus.
this is a program we want for all kids, lower class and upper class, because we really think it will push our kids to become lifelong uni writers. we think that is really important. it is an important part of what we are trying to work on. i am working with the school district and other cbo's about how to create lifelong muni writers -- riders. >> i am here to strongly encourage you to support this. a lot of our students to have been working on this for the past year were not able to make it. i am here to show my full support. with all of the services that
>> good afternoon. i am from power. i am here again to ask that you support the free bus passes for youth in san francisco. i am here representing the single mothers of the city. this is a beautiful city, but it is also expensive. we need these fast passes. as parents, we have a responsibility to provide for our youth, and the youth have a responsibility to receive an education. >> next speaker, and judy kwang. >> good afternoon. i am actually here to speak. i ran off the bus to talk to
you. i and the youth local coordinator for the occupancies leadership department program. thank you so much for kiki in, listening to all of the speakers. thank you. >> my name is alicia garza. as you can see, power has been doing an incredible job, in coordination with other organizations, drumming up community support for free fast passes for young people. we are going to be organizing low-income riders. transit riders want to see a budget that improves muni reliability and access without cutting service or raising fares higher than the cpi index
increases. our organizational vision is to put the burden on corporate employers who benefit from the service of muni, but do not pay their fair share. we support progressive solutions that tax the rich and corporations. we have collective disagreements. while we understand efforts to reduce congestion, many low income families and seniors still need to drive. as transit advertisers, we will not shy away, and we look forward to coming up with creative solutions to the budget crisis. we have also begun to discuss the budget crisis and the importance of solutions that prioritize taking transit over driving in order to reduce our impact on climate and the environment. we have just begun the process of evaluating some specific
proposals with our members. we are much more supportive of an effort to tax downtown parking garages instead of implementing parking meters in areas such as bayview hunters point. we appreciate the awareness about the burden of transit fares on low-income riders. we would like to work together with you to find budget solutions and get voter approval. we do not have the big bucks that some of the other stakeholders have, but we do have people power. we are part of san francisco rising. it is a grass-roots coalition of nine base building organizations working to build electric power in poor and working-class communities of color.
>> my commissioners are on the bus, coming. there are five of them. a lot of them go to private school. i want to speak three bullet points as to why a universally free pass is what this campaign is about, regardless of income. it does not stipulate you have to be low income to receive it. there was debate at the commission back in september, before we adopted this resolution, about income stratification. ultimately, there were three policy reasons why the commission wants a free pass. the first is stigma. reduced or free lunch, general assistance -- there is a stigma that comes with being low-income and getting a service for it. when you are pre pubescent, that is super messed up. that is not the kind of public good the youth commission supports. the second point is the administrative difficulties.
the half price fast pass for low-income youth was never implemented because of the administrative burden. in a final point that i think is important to point out, 40% of kids who could don't. we have a high proportion of private school students, but all those kids are not rich. a youth commissioner was here. some people off just want a good education. thanks for your time. free for all. >> thank you so much, mr. nolan.
if you're muni drivers do not need to eat, everything is free. police -- we cannot make any more for the public in this community. we have to teach the children what is duty. transportation is a duty. if you want to live in a big city, you have to pay for it. you cannot get free pizza at a pizza shop. you have to pay for it. yes, we need to take care of the low income. yes, we can make it more affordable, a pass for the children. but that is all we can do. we cannot say you get it free because you live in san francisco. we cannot send this message to the public anymore.
we are sending a strong message to the community and the children, the next generation. san francisco has reliable public transportation already. in his been on the street for 22 years already. the bus may be late a little bit or early a little bit. at least we can depend on public occasion. this is why we have to pay a bit of money to get on the buses. it is not because of five supervisors. we are a community, blah blah blah. but they do not know how much money you pay to run the system -- the railroads, driver benefits. they are members of the public as well. if i should live here, i should get free? that is not right.
do not send the wrong message. >> thank you for hearing us. my name is fernand go. i work with the central american resource center, and an after-school program right behind me. coming over here, we had to split our group up because we had left over bart tickets, but could not all right muni. it would be helpful for parents who have their students come out to our programs, and for field trips. it comes up in all sorts of areas. 75 cents does not seem like a lot. that was a world of difference for me. i remember when you could scrape up 75 cents, you need to come back in the hour and a half block. i definitely was one of those
people who knew which corners i could hit up so i could get on the back of the bus and right knee that way. chairpersonf you can please takr seats. the next speaker. ready for the next speaker. chairperson nolan: hang on a second. is mr. reiskin out in the hall? >> did you see him out there? chairperson nolan: ok. we're starting again. ok, ladies and gentleman. before we start with more speakers, it has come to my attention that some people seem
to think the board can take an action today. that is not possible. it all has to do with the agenda. it covers a discussion of budget priorities for the coming year. it is truly a discussion. if you are waiting for the board to say something and make a decision today, it is not going to happen. we cannot do it. it is not on the agenda. so far, we have heard 41 speakers. we certainly get the message. you are entitled to speak if you want to. what we are going to do is we will hear from five more speakers, and then we need to go into a closed session for a couple matters of litigation. then we will come back. if you want to speak to us, we will be happy to hear from you. >> the next speaker was lorena, followed by anonymous, baby -- gabby rodriguez.
chairperson nolan: that will be how many speak before our break for litigation. >> i am the director of civic engagement at the central american resource center. chairperson nolan: ladies and gentlemen, please. we need to pay attention to the speaker. >> i want to take the opportunity to introduce some of our youth. more of our youth wanted to be here, but as you know it is hard to get out of school early. they came in muni here to make their voice heard. i have been organizing in san francisco for about 13 years. i am a widow with a young child. this is not only for families, but it is also important for me. part of my work is to hear every day of the struggles of families. as a young woman just told me, this is for families of real need. i hope you remember the stories
and testimonies people are sharing today. i want to give the microphone to you. >> i go to mission high school. i do not live on mission street. when i came to california, the fast pass was paying $10. now i am 18. i have to pay like $31 just to go to high school. i feel it is unfair, paying $31 just to go to school. for me and some friends, we really need it. it is not just we want. it is a necessity for us. chairperson nolan: thank you. anybody else?
>> anonymous, followed by gaby rodriguez. >> i am anonymous. chairperson nolan: that will be before the litigation session. >> also known as steve williams. a couple points. first of all, i know the board has heard this issue for a while. several months ago, i remember distinctly board members saying this is a good idea, but we do not know where the money is. now the money is here, but the process is not being made here. there are some important points about respect that i think need to be made. first of all, it is not appropriate for this board to go into closed session when people are still waiting to speak. time and time again, people have asked for clarity about what the time when for the decision is going to be. i understand this plan is a discussion to make a decision regarding fares, but this board
is in a position to make a conditional endorsement of this program. what we can promise you is that whether you go into closed session or have other hearings, more and more people are going to continue to come speak. the reality is whether you have the hearing at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 -- young people all across the city are paying attention to what this board is doing. it is critical that free fast passes be provided to all young people. we have said before, and this board, i think understands the importance of this, but it is critical to understand that inevitably young people will wind up falling through the cracks, if you wind up setting up any sort of discriminatory practice. we have heard about the bureaucratic red tape. but the reality is that in san francisco public schools, more than 80% of the kids to qualify for free and reduced lunch do not wind up receiving it because
of some bureaucratic mess up. it is critical that newly not follow that type of president of setting up obstacles -- precedent of setting up obstacles. create the possibility of a new generation of transit riders to step up to be able to prove the city can provide transportation not just to and from school, but all over the city, so people can take a vintage of the incredible wealth and resources this city has. it is incumbent upon this board to make clear to the community when it is you plan on making a decision, and making clear that you support the program now that the community and public officials have done the hard work of finding and raising the money from other sources. >> debbie rodriguez, followed by kevin. -- gaby